President Donald Trump is expected to announce an aggressive new strategy toward Iran on Friday, disavowing the 2015 nuclear accord that was negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama. But Trump will stop short -- at least for now -- of scrapping the agreement or even rewriting it.
"It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said in a statement released early Friday.
Here are some things to know about Trump’s actions on the accord, which was signed by the United States, Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.
In his remarks, scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday, Trump will declare his intention not to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal. But the move does not amount to tearing up the deal, which was a promise he made during his run for the presidency in 2016.
Trump will send the agreement to Congress, which will have 60 days to determine a policy.
If Congress imposes new punitive economic sanctions on Iran, the nuclear deal likely would fall through. However, Trump wants legislators to adopt new measures to keep it in place and define parameters by which the United States would impose new sanctions in the event Iran violates its agreements.
Some of the violations could be defined as continued ballistic launches by Iran, refusal to extend its constraints on the production of nuclear fuel, or if U.S. intelligence agencies conclude that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon in a year or less.
Two times, Trump reluctantly certified the deal, but told his top advisers that he would no longer do it. To do so, he asserted, would make it appear that the president was breaking his campaign process.
Iran has rejected reopening the accord or negotiating a new one.
In his statement Friday, Trump said his decision was the “culmination of nine months of deliberation” with Congress and U.S. allies on how to best protect American security.